About the feature
The below article 'Baker's dozen: South Australia's young rising stars of family law' featured in the Adelaide Advertiser on Tuesday 8 May includes Mellor Olsson Solicitors Lydia Ho, Tayla Inglis and Nestoras Alexandropoulos. Mellor Olsson is thrilled to shine a spotlight on these three dedicated lawyers who are making a difference in the lives of families and individuals during challenging times.
They are young, super smart and driven with empathy and insight beyond their years – meet 13 of the fastest rising stars in South Australia’s family law space, each aged under 35.
For some, making a change in the family law space has long been an aspiration spurred by personal experience; for others the move into the complex and sometimes depressing area of civil law has been “serendipitous”.
But whether they’ve chosen to specialise in surrogacy and adoption, divorce, child protection or complicated high-net-worth financial structures they each speak of their work’s great rewards.
Port Lincoln-based, this 28-year-old solicitor’s ability to speak fluently in four languages uniquely equips her to effectively communicate the intricacies of family and divorce law to her broad and diverse clientele – something she is passionate about.
A graduate of both the Australian National University and University of Adelaide, Lydia Ho is described as having “exceptional qualities as a family and divorce lawyer … a truly distinctive and sought-after professional”.
Yet, she almost didn’t study family law at all.
“Enrolling in family law was a necessity due to my double degree schedule but it turned out to be a serendipitous choice,” she said.
“Witnessing the impact of family law on individuals going through separation, particularly those who endured family violence, was eye-opening and humbling; understanding the emotional and personal aspects of legal issues made me appreciate the critical role family law plays in people’s lives during such challenging times.”
Today she is a fierce advocate for those living in the state’s regional and rural areas.
“I find great fulfilment in providing support to people in regional Australia, especially in areas where government assistance may be limited … one of my primary goals is to demonstrate to the local community that the legal services they receive here are just as exceptional as those in Adelaide,” she said.
“What has been particularly rewarding is when I can help migrants and survivors of family violence stay in Australia and move forward in life with a fair and reasonable family law outcome.
“On a personal level, I have a strong aspiration to contribute to the Eyre Peninsula community by using my linguistic skills to educate and support the growing multicultural population. “Being able to bridge the language barrier for these individuals and offer them much-needed legal guidance brings me immense joy and fulfilment; it’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of efforts that make a difference in people’s lives.”
Nestoras “Nes” Alexandropoulos
The 34-year-old graduate of Flinders University said while he is driven to grow his expertise in all aspects of family law, for him a critical space stands out.
“My main goal …focusing on the area of intervention orders to help people in circumstances where domestic violence has been a factor in their separation,” Nestoras “Nes” Alexandropoulos said.
“During my studies I had a general interest in all areas of law, however I decided to focus on family law (while) undertaking pre-graduation work experience at a small firm specialising in family law and criminal law.”
It is clients who motivate him. “I enjoy getting to know my clients and helping them through what is generally one of the most stressful times of their lives,” he said.
“I find a lot of people are unsure of what steps need to be undertaken following a separation and how it can affect their lives … having the proper knowledge of this area of law and helping people is rewarding particularly when an outcome is reached; you see the relief they feel when their matters are finalised and they can move on with their lives.
A senior associate, he is described as being a “standout professional in the field” due not only to his knowledge but “the genuine concern he displays for his clients”.
The 27-year-old Flinders University graduate is fast emerging as a significant player in the realm of surrogacy agreements and adoption in SA.
“I have always wanted to focus on an area of law where I can make a positive difference in people’s lives and build strong relationships,” Tayla Inglis said.
“I was given the opportunity to study family law as a subject in my final year of university and was fortunate enough to be awarded a prize for achieving the highest mark in my class – this achievement fueled my passion to practice family law further.
“What I love most is being a part of the process of helping individuals and families during a highly emotional and stressful time … I am also passionate about areas not commonly associated with family law and divorce.”
This includes surrogacy and adoption which Inglis describes as “happier aspects of family law”.
“I take great pride in being able to assist people who are unable to have children of their own, whether that be through assisting with the preparation of a lawful surrogacy agreement or obtaining adoption orders in the Youth Court,” she said.
“My career aspiration is to be recognised as a leader in this field and continue to help grow families … my proudest career achievement to date has been obtaining an adult adoption order in the Youth Court for a foster care mother to recognise her already existing mother/daughter relationship with her adult child.
“This was extremely important to my client and her daughter, it was such a happy moment for them and I was so grateful to be a part of this process.”
Read the full article via this link.